Featured Article from Conferencing

Sleep Medicine Adds Conferencing with AASM SleepTM

January 16, 2017

Conferencing has long had value in unexpected ways, as it shows up in schools and even prisons alongside its more familiar business operations. Medicine has been an unexpected beneficiary of conferencing technology, and recently the sleep medicine field got a boost because the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)'s SleepTM is now available as part of the durable medical equipment (DME) industry.

With AASM SleepTM in place, sleep medicine physicians—as well as sleep centers—get access to secure video options geared toward inclusion with DME systems. Essentially, the combination of DME and AASM SleepTM allows sleep medicine to become one of those fields where telemedicine is not only possible, but also useful. Live and fully interactive consultations rendered over a distance become not only possible but also desirable, and the end result is better access to sleep medicine, regardless of a patient's physical location.

Those interested in bringing AASM SleepTM into current operations should find the license fees palatable; there's an initial setup fee of $250 and an annual fee of $500, with some ongoing plans available based mainly around use levels.

Jerry Barrett, AASM executive director, commented, “Telemedicine is changing the health care landscape by increasing connectivity between patients and health care providers, and now that convenience is available to DME providers and their at-home patients. AASM SleepTM is the standard-bearer for a new era of DME solutions that will enhance the accessibility of affordable, convenient, patient-centered care nationwide.”

With a cost-effective approach that helps ensure better patient outcomes—this readily-available personal assistance helps patients stick to recommended treatment courses—it's easy to see why this would be a popular new addition to many sleep therapy centers, which could augment their patient bases by going after generally underserved markets. Throw in comparatively low costs required to get into the field, as demonstrated by the previously-noted fee schedule, and it represents a breakthrough new possibility for sleep medicine to expand outward.

Underserved markets are a major problem in most medical fields; it's a market ripe for the taking, but setting up a presence is often so expensive that it's not worth the return for potentially years or longer. With telemedicine systems, the value shoots up thanks to low costs of entry, and makes everything from dermatology to sleep medicine that much more valuable. AASM SleepTM should be a big help in getting a better night's sleep to underserved markets.

Edited by Alicia Young